Recording Area Annual Totals

97 Species in 2013, 99 in 2012, 94 in 2011, 108 species were recorded in 2010;

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

SPARROWHAWK in the garden

A young EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK visited the garden today, sitting on the birdbath for a while before flying off.

SHARDELOES LAKE late autumn inventory


A return to mild SW winds after several days of northwesterlies. Bright and sunny throughout with limited cloud cover.


My first chance in a while to do some late autumn inventory work in the local Recording Area. A distinct change to proceedings since my last visit here, with many leaves now fallen from the trees. Water level very high still at the lake and all summer migrants now departed - a very wintry feel now. Few highlights other than a single LITTLE EGRET at the lake.

I undertook a full inventory, checking the lake first and then walking NW to the Todd's Wood boundary, back SW along Mop End Lane, back across to the Electricity Sub-station and back towards the entrance alongside Wheatley's Wood.

The Systematic List (38 species of bird recorded of 831 individuals)

Great Crested Grebe (no sign of any, all 4 departed)
Little Grebe (8 present on the lake)
LITTLE EGRET (one roosting in a Willow on the lake - scarce species here and possibly the same bird that Chris Pontin saw fly over Chesham this morning)
Mute Swan (all 5 resident birds still in situ)
Atlantic Canada Goose (just 1 remaining)
GADWALL (at least 15 present but surprisingly no Mallard)
NORTHERN POCHARD (pair present on lake)
Red Kite (4 birds ranging over the estate)
Common Kestrel (1 female)
RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE (single coveys of 10 birds along the field-edge by Todd's Wood and a further 5 in the maize fields east of Mop End Farm)
Common Pheasant (86+ noted)
Moorhen (just 3 birds located on the lake)
Coot (99+ on the lake)
Black-headed Gull (64 washing and bathing on the lake)
COMMON GULL (1 adult with the above)
SCANDINAVIAN HERRING GULL (1 adult Argentatus with the above)
Woodpigeon (lower numbers than expected considering the time of year - 1 by the lake followed by 113 in the maize strips and Beech trees east of Mop End Farm and a further 216 in stubble by Wheatley's Wood)
No Stock Dove seen
EURASIAN SKYLARK (7 in setaside alongside Mop End Lane)
Pied Wagtail (1 on the roof of Lower Park House)
Wren (8 along the Misbourne Valley west of the lake)
Dunnock (1 by the maize fields near Wheatley Wood)
European Robin (two males in song)
SONG THRUSH (1 in the usual area feeding beneath the tall Beeches opposite Lower Park House)
REDWING (1 in trees by Lower Park House)
Mistle Thrush (1)
FIELDFARE (flock of 12 in flight over Shardeloes House)
Again, surprisingly no Common Blackbirds found
GOLDCREST (1+ in the Firs by the Electricity Sub-station)
Great Tit (1), Blue Tit (1) and Long-tailed Tit (8)
Common Magpie (2)
Jay (very vociferous and busy gathering acorns - at least 7 noted)
Jackdaw (49 in pre-roost gathering)
Rook (37)
Carrion Crow (just 2 encountered)
Chaffinch (a few odd birds here and there with the largest concentration of 34 in the Mop End Lane maize crops)
Goldfinch (2)
BULLFINCH (a pair in scrub by the Electricity Sub-station)
YELLOWHAMMER (two groups, both in maize crops - 2 by Mop End Lane and 8 by Wheatleys Wood - and 5 more in trees opposite Lower Park House)


A winter thrush flock contained 36 FIELDFARES and 5 REDWINGS but there was no sign of the two Common Stonechats

Monday, 25 October 2010

Large numbers of birds return to the garden

Here at Chaffinch House in Little Chalfont, my first long spell spent at the desk since mid September has resulted in a check of the garden and there are large numbers of birds visiting - up to 15 GOLDFINCHES on the Nyger, repeat visits from up to 4 COAL TITS and a plethora of commoner birds.

Friday, 22 October 2010

STONECHATS return to the Chess Valley

Joan Thompson located a pair of COMMON STONECHATS at Mill Farm Meadow. Chenies Bottom, this afternoon and both birds were still present when I visited later on, frequenting the fenceline adjacent to the Chess. As far as I know, these are the first two in the Chess Valley in 2010, all of last year's wintering birds disappearing at the onset of the severe freeze - on or abouts the 18 December

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

BARN OWL near Chesham

Chris Pontin fortuitously watched a BARN OWL fly across Bois Mill Pond and the Latimer Road just prior to dusk this evening whilst the only local sightings of interest that I have had in the past two weeks or more is that of TAWNY OWLS becoming very active on most evenings, the males hooting loudly and continuously.